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  • The Orthodox school
    • Orthodox views of the Cold War emerged among historians in the United States and other Western nations in the early 1950s.
      • Known as the ‘Traditional view’.
    • Many Orthodox historians attribute the outbreak of the Cold War to Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union.
      • They argue that the Soviet regime initiated the Cold War by seeking to expand and exert control over Europe and Asia.
      • They support this to Russia’s inherent expansionism, the doctrine of Marxist-Leninism which preached international revolution and world communism, as well as Stalin’s anti-Western paranoia.
    • Orthodox historians argue that Stalin broke the agreements forged at Yalta and Potsdam
      • The Soviet leader’s duplicitous actions led to the collapse of the Grand Alliance and the beginnings of the Cold War.
    • Orthodox believe, the United States had only a passive or reactive role in these events
      • American leaders entered the negotiations in 1945 with benign objectives: they sought no territory and were guided by principles rather than self-interest.
        • Roosevelt and Truman both sought conciliation with Stalin and a post-war working relationship with the Soviet Union.
      • When Stalin violated the agreements of 1945, however, they acted in defence of self-determination and democracy.
        • Many Orthodox histories also offer scathing criticisms of economic policy and political repression within the Soviet system, while ignoring the shortcomings of American capitalism.
    • The Orthodox view became the accepted historical position of the United States during the 1950s
      • Not surprisingly, since it aligned with American interests and justified US policies like the Truman Doctrineand the Domino Theory.
      • It remained the prevailing explanation of the Cold War until the emergence of Revisionist historians in the 1960s.
      • Notable advocates of the Orthodox school included Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr, Herbert Feis, Thomas A. Bailey and Louis J
        • many of these historians held official positions with the US State Department or other government bodies.


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